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May 26 2016

HUD Rules Against Using Arrest Records in Rentals

"The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new guidance that is going to require all single-family and multifamily rental professionals to revisit their policies. In a decision that is aimed at protecting the rights of ""returning citizens,"" HUD is limiting the use of arrest records in tenant screening nationwide for both public and private housing. While they are not discouraging the use of criminal records in the background screening process, they are requiring a conviction be reported for the record to be considered in the decision. Using an arrest record without a conviction is being viewed as discriminating against a consumer who has not been found guilty of having done anything illegal. A housing provider with a policy or practice of excluding individuals because of one or more prior arrests (without any conviction) cannot satisfy its burden of showing that such policy or practice is necessary to achieve a substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest."